7 Best Sugar Snap Pea Varieties (+ Where to Get Seeds)

Sugar snap peas (sometimes just called snap peas) are the personal favorite of most gardeners, and they are always the peas I recommend to people who either don’t like eating regular garden/shelling peas or think peas are a “boring” vegetable to grow. Snap peas are sweet, often nutty, and have a crisp texture making them perfect for the kitchen or snacking right out of the garden.

There are a lot of sugar snap pea varieties you can grow, and below is a list of some of the best and most popular snap pea varieties to narrow down what you want to plant in your garden. You will probably love any of these varieties, but some (notably the sweetest, most productive, and stringless varieties) are highly recommended for all gardeners. All the below varieties are also open-pollinated, making them great choices for seed savers.

Snap Pea VarietyPlant SizeDays to MaturityAdditional Notes
Super Sugar Snap*5+ feet58-68 daysDouble-podded; stringless
Sugar Ann24-36 inches50-55 daysVery early producer
Tendersweet*12-20 inches65-70 daysDouble-podded; stringless
Amish Snap Pea5+ feet60-70 daysOld heirloom that predates the original Sugar Snap
Cascadia*24-36 inches60-68 daysStringless; versatile in the kitchen
Sugar Magnolia6+ feet70 daysPurple pods; not as sweet as other varieties
Sugar Daddy*24-30 inches65-75 daysDouble-podded; stringless

 * = highly recommended

Note to international readers: Many of the US-based seed companies mentioned in this article also ship internationally. 

Best Sugar Snap Pea Varieties

Super Sugar Snap

An improved version of the classic 1979 AAS winner with greater disease resistance

Days to Maturity: 58-68 days
Growth Habit: Tall climber; over 5 feet tall
Stringless? Yes
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Johnny’s Selected Seeds (US), Territorial Seed Company (US), Park Seed (US), Renee’s Garden (US), UF Seeds (US), Veseys (US), Veseys (Canada), West Coast Seeds (Canada), T&T Seeds (Canada), 

First Harvest 

The original Sugar Snap (re)introduced the world to snap peas. This improved version called Super Sugar Snap has all the same sweet flavor and crisp texture but with even more vigorous, disease resistant plants and improved double-podded, stringless yields. And yes, they’re stringless!

There are not many tall sugar snap pea varieties, so if you’re looking for a tall climber, Super Sugar Snap (or even the original Sugar Snap) should be your first choice. Intermediate resistance to both pea leaf roll virus and powdery mildew. Highly recommended.

 

Sugar Ann

A compact, super early and super sweet snap pea that’s been an AAS winner since 1984

Days to Maturity: 50-55 days
Growth Habit: Semi-dwarf, compact climber; 24-36 inches tall
Stringless? No
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Baker Creek (US), Johnny’s Selected Seeds (US), Gurney’s (US), UF Seeds (US), Territorial Seed Company (US), West Coast Seeds (Canada)

keeping cool 

One of the earliest producers, Sugar Ann is a very sweet snap pea variety that can produce its first pods in as little as 50 days. It also is one of the first compact snap pea varieties, barely reaching 3 feet tall and rarely requiring trellising or staking. Because of its high yields, great sweet taste, and its dwarf growth habit, it was selected as an AAS winner in 1984.

The only complaint gardeners have about Sugar Ann is that its pods can get a bit stringy, especially as they mature. If you don’t mind that, it’s an excellent, compact producer with great disease resistance.

 

Tendersweet

A tiny compact dwarf snap pea that is stringless, tender, and sweet

Days to Maturity: 65-70 days
Growth Habit: Dwarf, compact climber; 12-20 inches tall
Stringless? Yes
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Botanical Interests (US), Fedco Seeds (US), Jung Seed (US), Stokes Seeds (Canada), Rainbow Seeds (Canada)

All compact snap pea varieties are suitable for containers, but Tendersweet (also marketed as Tender Sweet) is the smallest, rarely getting over 20 inches in height. Because of its small stature, you can fit several Tendersweet plants in a larger container, and they don’t mind being a little crowded, often holding onto each other for support. This variety is also moderately resistant to fungal disease (fusarium wilt and powdery mildew).

Tendersweet pods themselves are stringless, double-podded, and are incredibly tender, hence the name. They’re best picked as the peas begin to swell inside the pod. The flavor is very sweet with nutty notes. Highly recommended.

 

Amish Snap Pea

An old Amish heirloom that predates the “original” Sugar Snap

Days to Maturity: 60-70 days
Growth Habit: Tall climber; over 5 feet tall
Stringless? No
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Seed Savers Exchange (US), Amish Country Store (US), Fedco Seeds (US), Annie’s Heirloom Seeds (US)

The original snap pea was developed in 1952, however, there were mentions of similar snap pea type varieties in the 18th and 19th centuries which are now lost in time. It’s possible that the Amish Snap Pea was related to one of those old varieties, cultivated over generations by the Amish.

This snap pea is a tall, climbing pea, easily reaching 5-6 feet. It also produces extremely early, sometimes in as little as 60 days. Very productive and flavorful, and best picked before the seed pods get fully plump.

 

Cascadia

A versatile dwarf snap pea renowned for heavy yields and excellent disease resistance

Days to Maturity: 60-68 days
Growth Habit: Semi-dwarf, compact climber; 24-36 inches tall
Stringless? Yes
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Territorial Seed Company (US), High Mowing Seeds (US), Fedco Seeds (US), True Leaf Market (US), Veseys (US), Veseys (Canada), West Coast Seeds (Canada), McKenzie Seeds (Canada), Thompson & Morgan (UK), Simply Seed (UK)

'Cascadia' peas 

For a semi-dwarf snap pea, Cascadia is a prolific yielder, producing a constant harvest of peas through early summer or late fall. This variety is highly disease resistant, with strong resistance to pea enation mosaic virus and moderate resistance to fusarium wilt and powdery mildew. This makes it the perfect choice of rainy environments like in its Pacific Northwest namesake.

Cascadia peas are highly versatile, with growers not only using them as snap peas, but picking them early as snow peas or letting them fully mature and using them as traditional shelling peas. They’re also stringless. Cascadia snap peas are a superb choice no matter how you eat them. Highly recommended. 

 

Sugar Magnolia

A gorgeous ornamental snap pea with dark purple pods and a vigorous growth habit

Days to Maturity: 70 days
Growth Habit: Tall climber; over 6 feet tall
Stringless? No
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Baker Creek (US), Burpee (US), Territorial Seed Company (US), Annapolis Seeds (US), Pinetree Garden Seeds (US), Kitchen Garden Seeds (US), Hudson Valley Seed Co. (US)

Sugar Magnolia snap peas are like typical tall climbing snap peas, but with striking, deep purple pods that grow from bright purple flowers. The peas inside are regular bright green peas, making for an impressive presentation when the pods are split open. The growth habit is very vigorous, with lots of tendrils that easily climb up any trellis.

Despite the beautiful purple pigmentation, they are not as sweet as other varieties, and some gardeners note that mature Sugar Magnolia peas lose their sweetness and can be a bit starchy. Sugar Magnolias should be picked early, before the pods are fully swollen. Regardless, this productive, highly prolific grower is a must-grow if you love ornamental varieties or want to mix some color with your regular green snap pea varieties.

 

Sugar Daddy

A prized snap pea named for its extreme sweetness, heavy, prolific yields, and disease resistance

Days to Maturity: 65-75 days
Growth Habit: Semi-dwarf, compact climber; 24-30 inches tall
Stringless? Yes
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Baker Creek (US), True Leaf Market (US), Hudson Valley Seed Co. (US), Territorial Seed Company (US), Botanical Interests (US), Renee’s Garden (US), West Coast Seeds (Canada), McKenzie Seeds (Canada), 

first sugar daddy snap peas 

One of the sweetest varieties that is truly stringless and occasionally double-podded, the Sugar Daddy is a highly productive and disease-resistant variety of sugar snap pea that will knock your socks off. 

This variety was bred by the same breeder who developed the original Sugar Snap to have a compact growth habit and better disease resistance. Sugar Daddy sugar snap peas are naturally resistant to pea leaf roll virus, powdery mildew, and fusarium wilt. This variety only seems to have trouble in mid-summer, which is normal for most pea varieties.

A very high yielder for its size, easy to grow, and extremely sweet pods that can go toe-to-toe against any other pea variety in terms of flavor and texture. Highly recommended.

 

Related Questions About Sugar Snap Peas

What Are Double-Podded Peas?

Double-podded refers to pea plants that produce a pair of pea pods per node instead of one.

What’s the Difference Between Snap Peas and Snow Peas?

Both snap peas and snow peas are eaten whole, the pod and all, although some varieties have a fibrous string to remove before eating. The main difference is that snap peas are often sweeter and have a crispier texture. Snow peas have a thinner pod and are usually picked just as the peas are beginning to form inside, whereas snap peas are usually picked when the pods begin to swell up. Fun fact: The first snap pea was originally a cross between a snow pea and a garden pea.

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